Smartphones win again

Smartphones win again! Today I went to the Guggenheim. It is a very popular museum, in fact there was a long line to get in. I walked to the front of the line to double check what was going on. I noticed a sign in front of a much shorter line. The sign said “pre-paid ticket holders”. I sat down on the wall next to the entrance got out my phone and checked the Guggenheim website. I discovered I could buy tickets through the website. So I got out my credit card and pre-purchased a ticket to the museum. I chose to collect my ticket at the museum rather than print one (a bit tricky in the street). I waited 2 minutes before being let in then gave my name at the ticket desk and they checked my booking and gave me a ticket. Yay!! I then installed the Guggenheim app which gave me more information about the museum and exhibitions, more yay!!

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What a weekend!

Dear Reader I owe you an apology. I have neglected the blog and you, but I hope you will forgive me when I tell you why. Over the weekend I walked according to my Fitbit (digital pedometer) almost 20kms!! And now I’m a little sore and a little sick. So last night I had an early night and today I took it easy.

The New York Maker Faire was fantastic with hundreds of displays, dozens of speakers and tens of thousands of visitors. I of course took lots of photos but it will take me a while to sort through them to use in a longer more detailed post. In the mean time here is a collage of some photos that sum up my weekend. The Faire was in Queens at the New York Hall of Science, in a mainly Hispanic neighbourhood. Over the weekend I did some science, I extracted DNA from a strawberry with salt, dish washing liquid, water and pure alcohol. I also did a little making by soldering and made a badge with flashing LEDs. The team of organisers of the New York Maker Faire were rightly very pleased with the event and everyone I spoke to had a great weekend, I know I’m not the only one with aching feet.

Stay tuned for more photos and information about New York Maker Faire.

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Maker Faire New York

Not enough energy to say much today as I’m exhausted after a great day at a workshop about setting up Makerspaces, more to come about that in a post soon. But here’s a sneak peak of what I will be doing this weekend.

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Stay tuned for updates from the New York Faire!!

Advertising everywhere

I have been in New York a couple of days and one thing I have noticed is that there is advertising everywhere. Even when I was going through security at the airport there was advertising in the bottom of the tray I put my bag in at the security check. Giant screens in Times Square, advertising on the stairs in the subway and people standing on corners with signs encouraging people to visit nearby bars and restaurants. Today after walking through Central Park and The Met my feet were really aching, I jumped in a taxi and was shocked to find a TV screen in the back of the drivers seat with advertising.

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One of the adverts was for a service to pay the fare with my mobile phone, I think I need to check that out looks interesting. I did notice I was watching the screen rather than the view so had to make a determined effort to look out of the window. I was struck by how I’m always drawn to watching a screen, it feels like some kind of autopilot.

Do you find if there is a screen to watch you will watch it?

Forgot to go old school

Adrian Mole book cover

Tomorrow morning I’m getting on a plane to the USA. I am making sure that all my devices that will help make the hours and hours and hours I will jammed into an airplane seat a little more bearable are fully charged. I have hours of podcasts, audio books and video to keep me entertained.  That’s along with the hours of inflight entertainment that will also help keep me entertained.  

My first ever long haul flight was when my parents and I moved from Adelaide to England. I remember buying my first ever walkman at the airport duty free shop and I still can’t hear to Phil Collins No Jacket Required without remembering the feeling of my first long haul flight. My parents also bought me a handheld Donkey Kong game. That I loved so much I broke the buttons.  Those two devices were the first pieces of technology I ever owned. 

Now I have my iPhone, my iPad mini and a pencil case full of cables and chargers. But I have just realised I will need some old school entertainment. I have forgotten to pack a book. Whilst I was worrying about adapters, chargers and hours of content, I forgot that as some point that batteries will all run flat and by law I will need to turn them off; and I will need a book. 

I can’t believe I forgot a book, I love books. There is a huge pile next to my bed all forming an orderly queue to be read. Sadly on closer inspection they are all hard cover, so too heavy to take with me.  On my first long haul flight I remember reading The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, I still have that book. So tomorrow as I am killing time pacing around Sydney airport before my flight I will take great pleasure in buying myself something to read whilst I’m on the plane and whilst I’m on holiday. Because even though I love technology sometimes you just have to go old school. 

 

‘My One and Only’

My One and Only artwork

It’s a funny how little things can snowball into bigger things.  As I have said before I’m a theatre geek. I am a huge fan of BBC Radio, especially radio plays, and thanks to the wonders of the internet I listen regularly to the free BBC podcast ‘Play of the Week’. 

In May 2012 I was walking home from work listening to My One and Only, it was an intense drama about obsessive love and stalking which really drew me in. The characters never meet face to face, the whole play was a series of phone calls.

The play made me think about how much of our lives, loves and relationships take place over the phone. I’m amazed by how quickly technology has become pocket sized and is now such an important part of our lives. Most of us rarely leave the house without our phones or get through a meal without making or receiving a call or text message or using our phones to settle an argument by checking a fact online.

I found Dawn King, the playwright, online, and sent her a message on Twitter, another new and very useful piece of technology.  After a few emails back and forth Dawn gave me permission to adapt the play for Adelaide Fringe 2013.  I asked a friend in England to help me adapt the play, we caught up on Skype to talk about the progress of the adaption.  I directed about Layla a young woman and her relationships.

My One and Only premiered at Adelaide Fringe this year and was recently nominated for Adelaide Theatre Guide Award for ‘Best Female Performance (Amateur)’. Sadly at tonight’s award ceremony the lovely Tamara Bennetts didn’t win. But I am incredibly proud that I was able to take a podcast and turn make it snowball into a great piece of theatre. 

Follow Friday

Follow Friday

If you venture on to Twitter on a Friday you will see many tweets using the hashtag #FF which stands for Follow Friday. What is Follow Friday?  It is a chance for Twitter users to show a little love to people they think you should be following. It can be a great way to find people to follow. Some people you #FF as a way to acknowledge someone who has been especially interesting, funny or helpful. So Dear Reader keep an eye out for #FF and see if you can find interesting people to follow on Twitter. And don’t forget to make some #FF suggestions for your followers. 

Image credit: http://technorati.com/social-media/article/do-you-followfriday-on-twitter-what/ 

Tweets for seats

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I’m a theatre fan, a big theatre fan. I don’t see as much theatre as I like but I go at least twice a month.  This love of theatre can be expensive so I’m always on the look out for cheap tickets. What has this got to do with technology I hear you ask, well my love of technology and more specifically twitter has given me free theatre tickets.

I have been given free theatre tickets in return for tweeting about the show. My first ‘tweets for seats’ experience was a couple of years ago at Adelaide Fringe. The publicist of a local production company offered local theatre loving twitter geeks free tickets to shows if they tweeted about the shows. Thankfully I enjoyed all the shows I saw so didn’t have any problems recommending other people get along. More recently, last month in fact, I was offered free tickets in return for tweeting about a show. I jumped at the chance.  It was a show I wanted to see but couldn’t justify the ticket price given I am about to go overseas. The only condition on the free tickets was that I needed to tweet about the show 5 times in a 24 hour period. Which I did.  I was again been offered free tickets to a show tonight and went. The show I saw was Brief Encounter at State Theatre of South Australia, at it was a wonderful show.

Tweeting for seats can pose an ethical dilemma, what if I don’t like the show? This can be a real problem. I have been given free tickets in return for me tweeting to help to sell tickets. I’m not expected to review the show but I am expected to promote the show.  It’s an interesting ethical dilemma, should I tell my twitter followers or not that I was given the tickets?  I believe that if I have been given free tickets for a show that I am tweeting about that I should let my twitter followers know.  If I’m going to promote something for a fee or free tickets then it is only right I let my followers know that the tweets are sponsored.  If I’m going to endorse a product, service or theatre performance I want to make sure I am 100 % clear about what is sponsored and what is my ‘real’ unsolicited opinion.  I am very lucky that so far I haven’t been stuck with the ethical dilemma of not liking the show I’m supposed to promote. I like to think that is something to do with the shows I agree to tweet in return for seats.

There is much discussion in the marketing world about sponsoring tweets and blog posts, it can be an useful marketing tool but it is generally considered bad form to not declare the the post as sponsored.  Given that celebrity tweeters can make a lot of money tweeting endorsements for products and services it is a problem that is only going to get bigger.

I don’t think I will ever be so famous people will give me cash to promote their product, but free theatre tickets are great.  So when people ask me ‘what’s the point of twitter?’ at least I have an answer now, free theatre tickets.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com – Tweet, Tweet! Tamer Koseli